Monday, October 23, 2006
The Miracle Cactus
Twenty-four years ago, on the occasion of the launch of my first book, a friend gave me one of two cactus leaves she had brought back from California. It was a special and rare cactus, she said, and would produce beautiful flowers. I planted it; it took root and grew. For nineteen years it produced a lot of green leaves but no flowers, and then, inexplicably, buds appeared and indeed the resulting flowers were spectacular. For the first two years, it blossomed once a year, but now it blossoms three times a year. As far as I can remember, I did nothing different to induce it to bloom. We would comment on what an ugly plant it was, but because it was a special gift, we did not have the heart to throw it out. Was it our loyalty and patience that prompted it to produce? Even after five years, Bill and I are still amazed and pleased each time it blooms.